You can easily manage your osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms by doing regular exercise and losing weight.
Individuals with OA should make it a point to avoid or lessen the stress and impact on the problematic joint. Bearing daily frequent pressure on the degenerating cartilage can only accelerate the damage. OA sufferers should avoid occupations that involve stressful and repetitive movements to help lessen trauma to the joints.
This is an activity that is most recommended for people with OA regardless of how fit they are or their age. Exercise should involve routines that tonify the muscles as well as enhance general fitness.
If the joint is inactive for a long time, the joint can stiffen and the surrounding tissue can atrophy or waste away. Moderate exercises like low-impact aerobics and strength and power training provide important benefits for those with arthritis. These benefits include:
- Less stress and a better sense of well-being that can enable patients to cope much better with pain
- Enhanced strength that leads to endurance and balance
- Weight loss
- Improved flexibility and less stiffness of the knee cartilage
Exercise is very helpful for patients suffering from mild-to-moderate OA in the knee or hip. Patients who perform resistance or aerobic exercise experience less pain, are more able to live an independent life and are less disabled compared to their fellow OA patients who do not exercise.
For OA sufferers, three kinds of exercises are recommended. These are:
- Endurance or aerobic exercise
- Range of motion exercise
- Strengthening exercise
Aerobic Exercise – This type of workout helps you lose weight and lessens joint inflammation. Low-impact aerobics can also support and stabilize the joint. Walking and cycling are great as well as water exercise and swimming for people with OA. OA sufferers should avoid high-impact sports like racquetball, tennis, and jogging if doing so causes pain.
Range-of-Motion (ROM) Exercise – ROM exercises improve the degree of movement of your joints. They practically are stretching exercises by another name. One of the most highly recommended ROM exercises for OA patients are tai chi and yoga since they promote proper breathing, balance and flexibility.
Strengthening Exercises – These are workouts that can include isometric exercises (pulling/pushing against static resistance). Isometric training benefits the person by improving digestion, increasing bone density, building muscle strength and burning fat. Those with OA in the knees or hips will need strengthening exercises that tonify their upper leg muscles.
Weightlifting exercises can build muscles that have been lost with age. They also keep the bones strong and healthy.
Being obese or overweight only serves to exacerbate your OA symptoms. Excess weight adds more pressure on the damaged joints making it increasingly hard for the body to repair them. The joints most affected by excess weight are those in the lower limbs. They bear an inordinate amount of your weight especially if you are obese or overweight.
You can lessen your weight by eating a healthier diet and performing more physical activities. You can consult with your physiotherapist or physician to help formulate a workout program for you. They can devise a proper exercise program for you. Your doctor can likewise advise you on the proper and safe way to lose weight.
Vickery Health & Wellness
18455 Burbank Blvd #306
Tarzana, CA 91356